As the year draws to a close, here’s a look back at my 10 best flights in 2017.
1. Saudia 777-300 First Class, RUH-LAX
The best flight of the year was due to one man: Chef Rahmi. I’ve never seen a more conscientious, hard-working, and resourceful onboard chef. Plus, Saudia’s first class hard product (with close-door suites) is also not bad at all.
> Full Review: Saudia 777-300ER First Class Jeddah to Los Angeles
2. Garuda 777-300 First Class, CGK-AMS
In many ways, Garuda Indonesia offers the best overall first class onboard product in the word. I had an incredible flight aboard a 777 in first class with delicious food, incredible service, free wi-fi, and a great closed-door suite.
> Full Review: Garuda 777-300ER First Class Jakarta – Amsterdam
3. Final United 747-400 Flight, SFO-HNL
What an honor it was to be on United’s final 747-400 flight from San Francisco to Honolulu, a re-creation of its first flight in 1970 on the same route. I had the pleasure of sitting on the upper deck and traveling with my uncle, who first introduced me to the 747 in 2004.
4. United 777-200 Business Class, LAX-LHR
This was my son Augustine’s first flight and therefore it will always be very special to me. It was a great flight as well, with wonderful service and the best United meal I’ve had all year.
> Full Review: Los Angeles to London in United 787-9 Polaris Business
5. Lufthansa A380-800 First Class, LAX-FRA
Perhaps the FAs were extra nice because of two A-List celebrities onboard, but service was incredibly exceptional. Then again, Lufthansa First Class rarely disappoints.
> Full Review: Lufthansa A380 First Class Los Angeles to Frankfurt
6. Alitalia 777-200 Business Class, FCO-LAX
Although I was warned to expect lazy and indifferent service, I experienced the opposite. The crew was excellent, seat very comfortable, and in-flight catering amazing.
> Full Review: Alitalia 777 Business Class Rome to Los Angeles
7. Air Serbia A330-200, BEG-JFK
Air Serbia’s flagship A330 route from Belgrade to New York JFK featured warm onboard service, a tremendous menu of local Serbian food, and a comfortable seat for the daytime journey to New York.
> Full Review: Air Serbia A330 Business Class Belgrade to New York
8. United Airlines 757-200 Business Class, EWR-LAX
Sometimes the best flight is after a job well done. I had just closed a big deal in New York and treated myself to business class on a late-night flight from New York to LA. How nice it was to enjoy a hamburger on a pretzel bun then sleep for five hours after a job well done.
9. Blade Helicopter, Manhattan 42nd St to EWR
My first time on a helicopter, a Blade charter from Manhattan to Newark Airport was an amazing way to catch my United flight home to Los Angeles.
> Full Review: Blade Helicopter from Manhattan to Newark Airport
10. Jetsmarter Challenger 300, VNY-LAX
Flying private is something you can get used to…very fast. I loved every moment of my Challenger 300 flight from Van Nuys to Las Vegas.
2017 was a great year of flying with many tremendous flights around the world. Later today I will recount my 10 WORST flights of 2017.